Mason Thompson | April 21st, 2020
It’s finally draft week. All of the film that everyone has watched culminates this weekend. The draft will look more different than ever before as we will be watching Roger Goodell announce the first-round picks from his basement on Thursday night. This is my final two-round mock, which includes six trades in the first round. There are plenty of surprises along the way, and I feel this is realistic, yet it also consists of a lot of the craziness that comes with the draft each year. Let’s get into it, starting with the Bengals selection.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
If the Bengals go in any other direction, it will be stunning. Burrow orchestrated perhaps the best season a quarterback has had in college history. He is from Ohio, and the Bengals would be making a big mistake by passing on him.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
There is a case to be made for the Redskins taking Jeffrey Okudah instead here, but I don’t see it happening. Young is another star in the long line of Ohio State edge rushers and should be the choice for Washington.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
While Detroit is trying desperately for a trade down, I don’t think they’ll get it as the depth of the draft class is astonishing. Okudah is the top cornerback in the quality and easily replaces Darius Slay in Detroit.
4. New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Like Detroit, the Giants are trying to trade down, and again there is no value from the teams that would attempt to make a trade. The Giants have a desperate need at right tackle and Wirfs slots right in. There has been plenty of steam going behind Wirfs to the Giants in the past week, so that is why I made this choice over any of the other big four tackles.
5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
While this isn’t what I would do, Miami seems to have honed in on Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa. There was no need for Miami to trade up, and now they still have all of their ammunition to fill some other holes on the roster.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
I know what you’re thinking. Tua is on the board; he has to be the selection. Well, not necessarily. Tua’s health concerns are well known, and there are reports that teams have taken him off of their draft boards. The Chargers have spent extensive time studying the quarterbacks in this draft, and that includes Love. He can sit behind Tyrod Taylor for a year and learn instead of being thrown to the wolves right away.
*** TRADE – Denver sends picks 15, 46, and 181 to Carolina for picks 7 and 221 ***
7. Denver Broncos (via Carolina) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Denver needs a receiver opposite of Courtland Sutton. With receiver-needy teams above them such as Jacksonville, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, Denver jumps them all to get the receiver of their choice. Jeudy is my number one receiver in the draft, as he is the best route runner in the class. Denver has to help Drew Lock in any way possible.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
As much as Kyler Murray wants CeeDee Lamb, it’s just not going to happen. Arizona needs offensive line help, as well as defensive help across the board. Arizona’s premier need is at right tackle, which Wills fills immediately. The Cardinals offense is more dynamic already with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, and an addition of a star tackle is a welcomed addition as well.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
I was between two players here. Kinlaw and Isaiah Simmons. I have seen plenty of reports saying teams are struggling to place Simmons on their defense. Kinlaw has seemingly taken over as the top interior defensive lineman over Derrick Brown and will be a great fit in Jacksonville.
*** TRADE – Atlanta sends picks 16, 78, and 2021 third-round pick to Cleveland for pick 10 ***
10. Atlanta Falcons (via Cleveland) – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Atlanta jumps New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco to take the second cornerback in the class. The Falcons have a ton of steam building saying they are trying to trade up into the top ten, and I see that as only being for Henderson or one of the two defensive linemen. Atlanta needs defensive help all across the board, and Henderson slots in as cornerback one for the Falcons.
*** TRADE – Philadelphia sends picks 21, 53, and 2021 third-round pick to New York for picks 11 and 211 ***
11. Philadelphia Eagles (via New York) – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Joe Douglas has a great relationship with Howie Roseman from his time in Philadelphia, and the two sides work out a trade. The Eagles desperately need receiver help and get some here with Ruggs, who can finally be who the Eagles need to put their offense over the top.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Isaiah Simmons, Defensive Player, Clemson
Simmons drops out of the top ten and gets scooped up by Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden. Simmons could round out the linebacker core, or line up opposite of Johnathan Abram at safety. Las Vegas would be wise to stop his slide and use him on their defense, which desperately needs help.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
This isn’t a sexy pick, but it’s a good one. Brown lines up where DeForest Buckner was, and while he may not offer the same pass-rushing ability, he is a top player on the board right now, while also filling a need.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Tampa Bay needs help on the offensive line. While Andrew Thomas is still on the board, Becton offers a ton of untapped potential. The Buccaneers are in win-now mode and got a tackle to help Tom Brady out.
15. Carolina Panthers (via Denver) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton has fallen down draft boards for months, just like Greedy Williams did last year. Carolina needs a cornerback opposite Donte Jackson and gets one with Fulton, who also went to LSU. The Panthers are happy to get a starting cornerback and an extra second-round pick to boot from the trade down with Denver.
16. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Cleveland trades down and still gets the player they would’ve chosen at 10 overall. With the addition of Jack Conklin in free agency and now Thomas in the draft, Cleveland’s offensive line is top-notch and can finally let Baker Mayfield air it without being chased every play.
17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Dallas has lost a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Chaisson would slide in opposite of Demarcus Lawrence and help the defense out a ton. Now, only to find a cornerback to replace Byron Jones, or an interior offensive lineman to replace Travis Frederick.
*** TRADE – Indianapolis sends picks 34 and 44 to Miami for picks 18 and 141 ***
18. Indianapolis Colts (via Miami) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Indianapolis has watched as Tua has slid down the board, similar to Aaron Rodgers from 2005. Chris Ballard is a great general manager and forces his hand before Bill Belichick, or Sean Payton get to their phones to try and trade up. Indianapolis sends the two second-round picks they have to trade up for their quarterback of the future.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Raiders get their heir to Tyrell Williams by taking Lamb. The trio of Williams, Hunter Renfrow, and Lamb will be great to watch along with the tight end duo of Darren Waller and Foster Moreau gives Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota plenty of weapons on offense. The Raiders walk away with potentially two top-ten prospects in the draft in Simmons and Lamb in the first round.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The pairing of Kinlaw and Gladney is a dream scenario for Jacksonville. Gladney is my second-highest rated cornerback in the class and would fit in great for the Jaguars. Jacksonville gets two of its top targets and still have their second-round pick.
21. New York Jets (via Philadelphia) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Jets drop down ten spots and add a second-round pick while still snagging Jefferson. Helping Sam Darnold out is priority number one this offseason, and the Jets have addressed some offensive line spots as well as adding Breshad Perriman. Still, Jefferson adds a whole new dimension to this offense.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Instead of trading for someone like Odell Beckham or Alshon Jeffery, the Vikings opt to select Mims at a discount. It may not look like it, but the Vikings have a ton of holes on their roster and can’t afford to give up a first-round pick for a receiver with a large-cap number.
23. New England Patriots – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Patriots could go in a lot of different directions here. I opted to go with Delpit because Belichick can use him in a variety of ways. He could be the third safety on the field with Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty or even play some linebacker as well. Maybe he could help fix Delpit’s tackling woes as well.
24. New Orleans Saints – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
This may be the last ride with Drew Brees at the helm. While most mocks have the Saints taking a linebacker, I have them taking a receiver to pair with Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. While I’m not high on Reagor, I do like the fit here with New Orleans.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos has endured a long, emotional road to this point. It will be an amazing moment when he gets drafted. He is a disruptive edge rusher who fits well in Mike Zimmer’s scheme. As I said earlier, Minnesota has needs across the roster, and Gross-Matos fills one of those needs.
26. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Miami got their quarterback at the number five spot with the selection of Herbert. Now, they get his blindside protector in Jones, while also adding another two second-round selections from the trade down at 18 overal. While it may not be the way most fans expected in September, Miami is building up the core of their roster.
*** TRADE – Green Bay sends picks 30, 136, and 2021 fourth-round pick to Seattle for pick 27 ***
27. Green Bay Packers (via Seattle) – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Green Bay has traded up with Seattle the past two years, so why not do it again. Baltimore has shown interest in both Queen and Kenneth Murray, and the Packers opt to not wait and see who Baltimore selects by trading up. With the receiver class being as good as it is, Green Bay can wait and select one, or even two on day two of the draft.
*** TRADE – Chicago sends picks 43, 163, and 2021 third-round pick to Baltimore for pick 28 ***
28. Chicago Bears (via Baltimore) – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Chicago has been active in trades on day two in years past and instead jump from day two to day one to get a new tackle. Cleveland had a stellar combine and can now slot in at one of the tackle spots. Though I wouldn’t do this, Chicago’s front office is in a bit of turmoil right now and are trying any way possible to win.
29. Tennessee Titans – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Each time I do a mock, this always seems to be the pick for Tennessee. Epenesa is a great fit for the Titans, who can take a “best player available” approach in round one with no glaring needs on the roster. He can even slide inside and play on the interior for Tennessee.
30. Seattle Seahawks (via Green Bay) – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Seattle always seems to do things out of the ordinary for the draft and once again do so here. Igbinoghene is a former wide receiver who transitioned to play cornerback. He has gotten the first-round buzz for the last few weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle is the one to take the bait.
31. San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Terrell got shredded in the National Championship game but was solid besides that. San Francisco needs a cornerback and should take one in round one. The 49ers can take advantage of the wide receiver trade market and potentially trade for Beckham or Jeffrey.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
This caps off round one of the mock draft. Stay tuned for round two of the mock, which will be out tomorrow! Thursday can’t come soon enough!
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